tv PBS News Hour PBS July 4, 2012 6:00pm-7:00pm EDT
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> ifill: heat and hardship didn't stop americans from celebrating independence day today with parades, barbeques and fireworks. good evening, i'm gwen ifill. >> suarez: and i'm ray suarez. on the newshour tonight, prolonged power outages, record high temperatures, and wildfires made this a challenging 4th for many. we'll have the latest. >> ifill: a history making day in physics as scientists discover the god particle in switzerland. what it is and why it matters. >> suarez: we talk to dr. anthony fauci of the national institutes of health about the food and drug administration's approval of a do-it-yourself home test for h.i.v. infection. >> ifill: john merrow reports
on a texas school district's approach to its high school drop-out crisis: luring students back with college courses. >> what we're looking at doing is doing education in a different way, where the colleges come together with us and start working with these young people while they're still in high school. >> suarez: judy woodruff looks back at the major decisions in this high-impact supreme court term with historian michael beschloss and marcia coyle of the "national law journal." >> ifill: and on this most american of holidays, we turn to the men who signed the declaration of independence and what happened to them after they did. >> they were placed under house arrest. they had-- they were allowed to write letters home. they were visited by physicians. no one was ever tortured. that's something i have seen over the years and it is wrong. every time i see it, i shudder. >> ifill: that's all ahead on tonight's "newshour." major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: ♪ ♪
>> ifill: five days after a storm that cut a path from the midwest to the mid-atlantic, many americans were still in the dark, sweating out this fourth of july. the death toll from those storms has now reached 26. in the west, scores of wildfires continued to rage, but that didn't stop the cookouts and the parades. temperatures approaching 100 degrees didn't stop hundreds from lining the streets in washington today for a neighborhood fourth of july parade and picnic. but even as americans from coast to coast celebrated the nation's independence, many longed for a different kind of dependence on electricity. >> everybody on the block has power but our house and the house across the street. neighbor next door lets me plug into her house so i can run the freezer and the fridge in the
basement, and the television set, but that's it. >> i understand that there are big storms and there's going to be a power outage. but you know, i noticed that the crews that finally did come five days later were not from the area. and i really think that they should train more local workers. >> ifill: more than 900,000 homes and businesses from the midwest to the mid-atlantic are still without power since powerful storms struck last week. this week's record high temperatures haven't helped. in suburban maryland, dozens flocked to the old georgetown swim and tennis club to beat the heat. thanks to a generator, the pool reopened to members for the first time today. >> i came in saturday morning and the pool was a disaster. there were leaves all over the place. there were several large branches down. it took the staff and i all day saturday to just clean up the pool get it ready. >> reporter: in the mountain west, colorado is still dealing
with the worst outbreak of wildfires in state history. one of them-- the waldo canyon blaze-- alone may have already caused $110 million in damage. those fires, plus dry conditions in other states, have led to a ban on one of the patriotic holiday's most common traditions-- fireworks. in another traditional ritual, new citizens were sworn in across the country. at a special ceremony in the nation's capitol, president obama renewed his election-year call for new immigration laws and praised two dozen active duty newly naturalized military personnel. >> you put on the uniform of a country that was not yet fully your own. in a time of war, some of you deployed into harms way. you displayed the values that we celebrate every fourth of july-- duty, responsibility, and patriotism. >> happy 4th to you! >> ifill: republican mitt
romney, who spent the day at a parade and other festivities near his summer home in wolfeboro, new hampshire, also paid tribute to the military. >> the sacrifices that are being made by our fighting men and women around the world continue to inspire me and give me a confidence that our future is bright. >> ifill: in afghanistan, troops shared messages for families and friends back home. >> have a happy holiday. happy 4th of july. >> miss you guys. wish i was with you. have a great day. >> ifill: and in new york, a group of service members wounded in iraq and afghanistan visited the 9/11 memorial. >> suarez: still to come on the "newshour": physicists celebrate finding the god particle; home h.i.v. testing approved by the f.d.a.; high school drop-outs get to try out college; an historic supreme court term and, whatever happened to the signers of the declaration of independence? but first, the other news of the day. here's hari sreenivasan. >> sreenivasan: nato officials today reported a man wearing an afghan army uniform opened fire on american troops.
the shootings happened on tuesday in afghanistan's eastern wardak province. an investigation is underway. the troops were targeted outside a nato base. five u.s. service members were wounded before the attacker fled the scene. the number of insider attacks against foreign forces is up this year. in the west african country of mali, some of the country's most prized artifacts and relics are in the process of being destroyed by muslim extremists. the city of timbuktu is one of the hardest hit, where ancient tombs have already been torn down. jonathan rugman of "independent television news" narrates this report. >> reporter: they used pickaxes and hoes and even chisels. islamist militants destroying then tombs of ancient muslim saints in one of the world's most fabled cities. and when asked why, they cried, "only god is great and claimed that all timbuktu's monuments to the dead were unislamic and would be destroyed."
these are the men of ansar din which means defenders of the faith and they now control much of noerthern mali including timbuktu. they are in a loose alliance with these fighters from al qaeda in the islamic maghreb arabs from algeria and mauritania now exploiting the power vacuum in mali after the government there was toppled in a coup back in march. yesterday, the islamists hacked down this door to a 15th century mosque, horrifying locals who believed it would only open on the day the world ends. in may this one of timbuktu's best known monuments was attacked, an image of the genie protecting the city. this militant explained that he broke it down himself to prove that the only protection comes from god. the city once rivaled oxford as a seat of learning. eight of its 16 main sufi
shrines have reportedly been destroyed. apparently in revenge for unesco declaring them endangered sites only last week. this community leader has warned that timbuktu is on the verge of losing its soul, northern mali could be the next al qaeda central. funded by hostage taking and cocaine smuggling. the capital bamoko 600 miles south seems powerless the coup against this the presidential palace was led by a lowly captain. and there's no credible government to negotiate with the rebel north. these attacks on africa's heritage won't provoke military intervention but african states may intervene eventually fearing an area the size of france is now al qaeda's front line. >> sreenivasan: earlier this week the u.n. strongly condemned the destruction and called for an immediate end to these repugnant acts. unemployment in ireland hit an 18-year high in june. the 14.9% rate reflects the country's struggle to boost
economic growth even as it cuts back on pensions and public sector jobs. ireland received a bailout loan from the european union and international monetary fund in 2010. in the u.s. presidential campaign, for the first time republican mitt romney called the requirement that all americans buy health insurance a tax. that contradicted how one of romney's advisers characterized his views earlier this week when he said romney viewed it as a penalty, fee or fine but not a tax. romney made the comments in an interview with cbs news. president obama's campaign responded saying romney was contradicting his own campaign team and himself, since he backed a health care mandate and referred to it as a tax when he was governor of massachusetts. oscar pistorius is set to make history as the first amputee track athlete to ever compete at the olympic games. the 25-year-old double amputee has been named to south africa's olympic team. pistorius-- who runs on carbon fiber prosthetic legs-- will compete at the london games in the individual 400 meters and
the 4x400 meter relay. he was born with a congenital defect, and had both of his legs amputated below the knee when he was just 11 months old. those are some of the day's major stories. now, back to ray. >> suarez: now, an extraordinary new discovery that helps confirm our understanding of the universe. we start with this report from tom clarke of "independent television news." >> physician kiss are getting carried today. today professor peter higgins was a rock star's welcome. more than 40 years ago has been waiting to be discovered. >> i would like to add my congratulations to everybody involved in this tremendous achievement. for me, it's really an incredible thing that has happened in my lifetime.
[laughter] [applause] >> it was first proposed the idea of the higgs boson was almost in style yet here today something that looks very much like it has been proven to exist. and in that, it fundamentally changes the way we understand the universe, how the universe works almost spot o in fact makes it one of the land marked discoveries of our age. in the world it's a very very small unghastly lead to applications we've not even imagined. they found the largest and most expensive piece of the scientific kit that built the large that probes the subatomic world by smashing particles together very hard. so what is the higgs boson. in pool room across the way was
explaining it. >> this is a completely new kind of object. there's no analogy to it like we found one and three when we already had two. this is a lynch pin that makes everything work. >> everything in the universe have masks. but without the higgs boson, there is no map. what goes for pole vault awe played to fame in a frantic, in fact the whole universe takes away and there's nothing left to hold the entire universe together. the. >> the machine hat found the new particle has yet to run at full power. when it does in the coming yairptz thing could appear like loose it dark matter. in that sense today has been a true break through carrying the most fundamental science forward. >> suarez: to help us further grasp today's news and exactly what a higgs boson is we're joined by ian sample, science correspondent for the guardian newspaper and author of a book about the higgs boson called "massive: the hunt for the god
particle." he was at the press conference today in geneva and joins us now from london. >> if it's genuine wired spread exsiementd from the critics physician deavor. do we know something of the way the world work that we didn't a week ago. >> exactly right. this is rock star stuff today. i never seen cheering like it apart from a match. what we know today that we didn't know yesterday and we haven't known since it was proposed 48 years ago, is there's an energy field in the space all around us. it goes through us, it's everywhere you can think of. and that field does something absolutely fundamental which is it gives mass or weight to the smallest particles that make you and me up, everything you can think of in an object. it gives wrote to those objects. if that wasn't there, these
particles wouldn't be around, would be flying around like light. we wouldn't have stars, planets, none of us would be here. it's big news. >> well to give pea all a thumbnails tutorial, we have to find out what mass is. what is mass. >> mass is something, if you take an object and you push it, mass gives you an idea of, it's kind of a measure of how much resistance it gives to you. also when you pick something up, how heavy something is depends on its mass. now if you pick something up on the moon, if you happen to be on the moon it would be lighter than down on earth the mass would be the same. the mass is something that gives you an idea how much something will weigh wherever you happen to be and how much it sort of force it takes to push it around. it basically how much heft something ha. >> there's reluctance to say
eureka we found it. the director of the lab said we have a discovery, we've observed a new particle that's consistent with the higgs boson but he wouldn't say it was it. why not? >> he said to me as a layman we've got it. as a scientist i have to be more cautious than that. what this comes down to is they have definitely found a particle. what they need to do now is a lot of checks, and this is going to take months, probably a couple years to nail down that it's exactly the kind of particle that was predicted 48 years ago back in 1964. now the subtlety here is that there's a really simple kind of higgs boson that was first postulated in 64 but there are also more complex versions of it, there could be one of say five or six higgs boson. what they can't say at the moment is exactly what kind it is. they're as near convinced they've got a kind of higs they
just don't know exactly 100% definite. i was told it is some kind of higs. >> suarez: since the existence of this particle was predicted they built a tremendous tool, a $10 billion collider to test the idea. isn't there other way to see if these exists besides smashing them at high speeds. >> it's really hard to do because what you achieve and what was done with the ustebitron collider near chicago was that you need to generate an awful lot of energy in a very small space, a very small volume of space and you need to create that energy and then be able to carefully watch what comes off it. you're looking at the higs particles which are created but as soon as they're created they
disintegrate into other stuff. you could potentially look for these higs particles being produced way out in space because the kinds of things that are more energetic than the large collider are cosmic raise -- rays and these are part kulz flying around space's it's hearted to get a massive detector up in space and hard to do think measurements up in space. you need had this in a really controlled environment so not you can you can be then when it happens but detect expanlize the heck out of it. you can't do it from the atmosphere although knee i don't theoretically it's a possibility. >> can you do the next step that wasn't possible before you had this result. does this open some doors? >> well do you know what, this is the absolutely crucial point which cannot be answered yet and it all revolves on what happens next. now, the issue is, if you find
the higs particle is exactly as predicted by peter higs in 1964 it's very simple. he predicted the most sort of elegant and the most uncomplex kind of higs particle you could possibly predict. if you find that that's being basically understood and the idea has been around since 46 and people have gone as far as they can based on that understanding. what everybody in physics and particle physics at least is hoping for is that when they measure the heck out of this particle, it looks different to that sym version. there's some quirk about it are and something they need which gives them a lead or door to go through that will help them ultimately understand the kainldz of things we don't have a clue about. why is gravity so weak, why is dark matter this invisible stuff
that clings around galaxies. what is energy and expansion of unions verse. there is something physics can't explain at the moment, far more, and they are hoping that something quirky about the particle they found will give them a clue where to go next. >> suarez: thanks for joining us. >> instead of h.i.v. the sign tips hope will save lives, it all comes down to testing. the 1 on it 2 million americans who carry the virus which causes aids 20% don't know they visit. after diagnosis the chance that a patient treated with anti-retroviral drug will transmit the disease drops by as much as 96%. the food and drug administration has now approved the first at home test to detect h.i.v. infection. to explain how it will work
we're joined by dr. anthony fauci the director of national institute of allergy and infectious diseases. dr. fauci i'm trucked by that figure the 20% that don't know they have the disease. what causes that, is it stigma. >> what happens is there's so many different reasons why people don't come forth to get tested even though they may realize they are at some risk. certainly citigroup mauve is one of them. going in and asking for a is test in some circles would stigmatize someone. the idea of having a test the person can get in the privacy of their own home goes a long way to breaking down that barrier of getting to the people who are infected and who don't know that they're infected. >> ifill: among that 20% who are they? who are undiagnosed. >> well, if you look at the relative proportion of people who get newly infected each year, particularly in the united states, they're about 50% or
more have transmittability. we have 50,000 new infections each year in the united states and we haven't gotten below that level for a significant period of time in several years. so we really need to do something to get to the people who are infected get them into care and on therapy, both for their open good and the fact that when you put someone on therapy and get the level of their vie lust low you dramatically decrease the likelihood they're going to infect an uninfected text sult partner. there are many reasons to get this test. >> ifill: it's over the counter. how does it work. >> you take a swab inside the mouth swab and you put it in a solution and within 20 to 40 minutes, you get the result of whether you're positive or not. it's very simple. it's very easy to do. and it's going to be available
very soon over-the-counter in pharmacies. >> ifill: is the something you would recommend everybody take or just for people in take high risk groups like you talked about. >> obviously there are people who are in absolutely no risk but for example the cdc recommends that anyone from the young age up until 60 should be tested for hiv. we recommend strongly if there's any doubt whatsoever you have any risk and risk is easy. risk is having sex unprotected sex with an individual whose hiv status you don't know. you may not consider that a risk in your life but that is a risk and then there are other risks that are really much more. for example people who have multiple sexual partners particularly men who have sex with men. those are the people who are at the greatest risk in this country. those are the people you generally like to target but this is really open for anyone who feels they have any possibility of a risk. >> ifill: after you've had this, taken this swab, how long
does it take before you figure out what the result is? is it instantly or is it days? >> no it's about 20to 40 minutes but you have to get a confirmatory test. the company that makes this is going to have a 24-hour consumer support service available where you can get information. for example if you're positive you really need to call up and get it done firmed. there's a possibility it might be a false positive. also if you are indicated as being positive you want to get yourself into some sort of a healthcare system to determine if it's appropriate to treat you at this time. and if it is you really want to get into treatment. it's a matter of literally 20 to 40 minutes but it doesn't stop there. first of all if you're negative you shouldn't assume you're no longer at any risk. you should continue to avoid high risk behavior and if you are positive, obviously you need to get under the care of a health provider. >> ifill: you mentioned the firm paws positive.
how reliable is this test. >> well if you are negative, it's 99.9% sure that the test would be accurate. in other words, there's a one in 5,000 chance that you're going to have a false positive. if you are in reality positive, there's a 1 in 12 chance you may not be picked up as being positive because there's a window from the time you get infected to the time the test like this turns up positive. it's usually measured in a few months, approximately three months. so there is that sort of blind side window where you don't pick it up. that's the one in 12 that you would miss. >> ifill: is there any kind of trade yeah there is to say there's the privacy in your own home find out whether you are h.i.v. positive or not. but then you don't get the follow up information the counseling you might get at a doctor's office. >> gwen you really do and you can and that's part of the outreach to people who take these tests, the outretch from the company, the outreach from public health officials. it doesn't just stop with the
test. if indeed you're positive you have a 24 hour service to get the people who can actually help you to encourage you and to direct you to getting into a healthcare system. so although there isn't an instant tain just counseling at your home, against the evidence not having instant tain just county, people like myself and the cdc overwhelmingly feel the advantage of this far out woifs the risk. >> ifill: if this is a valuable and such a wonderful new idea for increasing the number of people who get test and the we know this sort of test has been available in medical clinics or clinician environments what took so long for this get to over-the-counter and home use. >> there has been a test like this that's been available for
professional use namely very rapid and easy to get the answer. you really want to test it thoroughly to make sure you're dealing with a product. we must underscore that the best approach would be, would be to go to a physician and get tested as part of general medical care, which is what the cdc recommends, but there are a group of people who for one reason or other are very reluctant and reticent to do that. this is directed at those people. this is not directed as put substitute for going to a healthcare provider and getting tested. these are for the people for one reason or another find it difficult to do so. >> ifill: dr. anthony fauci, director of the insure institute of allergy and infectious diseases. thank you so much for coming on this 4th of july. >> good to be here. >> suarez: next, another chapter in our series on the high school dropout problem. the "newshour's" special correspondent for education, john merrow, looks at a program that offers dropouts college
courses to make learning more stimulating. this story is part of the american graduate project. >> in the real grande valley on the texas mexico border life is hard. unemployment is higher here more than anywhere in texas. almost all of the 31, 00 students in the far san juan al most school district are hispanic and live in low income households. if any students do go to college it's just about guaranteed they will be the first in their family. five years ago in 2006 close to half of the students drop out of high school without graduating just as their parents had done. this was a dropout district.
then daniel came to town. >> the first thing was stop the bleeding work with the dropout situation. >> the new superintendent madea decision he would lure the dropouts back to school. >> at the beginning of every year, we identify all of the missing students and we spend a whole month of december we comb the neighborhoods and try true track down students. >> they called and visited homes of dropouts sometimes making dozens of house calls. >> we have a choice. this can be contributed toward our society or they can be people that depend on the rest of us. >> lo and behold it works. >> 237 seniors who did not get a high school diploma and are short on credits, we got 223 of them to come back. >> what was his incentive, how did he get students to agree to
come back to high school. >> we used an early college philosophy for dropouts. we brought them back in. our message was you didn't finish high school, start college today. >> that audacious message bears repeating. high school didn't work for you let's try college. american high schools are students don't feel challenged. if students could take college classes while they're in high school, would they be more likely to go to class, to graduate and continue on to college? programs that offer college classes in high schools started appearing in the late 1950's. today the reliable numbers are hard to come by. we know that at least 10% of high school juniors and seniors are erning college credit. superintendent king's approach may be the boldest and ambitious. the kick off as plan king created a separate school in this former wal-mart store for dropouts age 18-26. >> right away in the summer of
2007, we created a dropout recovery academy. we called it college career and technology academy. we wanted to point the dropouts to college and to meaningful careers. >> most dropout recovery programs offer students the chance to finish what they started, get their high school diploma or their ged. king's college approach lurid dropouts back to school by offering them a taste of college. >> what we're looking at doing is doing education at a different way where the colleges come together with us and start working with these young people while they're still in high school >> on the inside? okay. >> our goal is to get them to transition into the community college to earn an associate's degree or at least a certificate in a high wage how scale employment so they can have a future and support their family. >> it may not be easy.
>> a lot of our kids have experience in the past they come in with low self-esteem, they come in not believing that college is attainable at all. when a student comes in we set that mind set that college is attainable. >> johnathan is an -- sanchez had taken a road traveled by many. >> i was a good student, a and b honor role i guess you could say i was a smart kid. >> but in high school he tried to fit in and be cool. >> it was way different. everything is like labeled and it feels like i wanted the labeling of being a rebel and then i had a downfall. i got into drugs, i got a conviction. even up going to juvie after that. i was at a stand still for two years, i was at a standstill. >> in january, he enrolled in the academy. >> i have the enrollment, i'm taking computer systems, i'm taking medical building, i want
to be certified take an osha course. i have so much going on i feel like my brain is being occupied the whole time. >> at the academy all students complete high school requirements. some take college classes. everyone gets connected to college. >> you already did an application for spring. you need to do one for fall 2012. >> it's embarrassing to say i'm in high school. now it's like i don't have to say that anymore i can say i'm a college student. >> this spring, 70 students graduated from the academy. about 60% of them continued on to college including david sanchez. >> in four and-a-half years we've graduated 878 students. i'm anticipating by this august we'll have probably our 1000th graduate. these are people almost all of
them would be without high school diploma. >> solving the dropout problem was plan a. plan b was taking all high school students taking college courses. when up the ante and opened another small school where juniors and seniors would attend high school and college at the same time. >> what is different about these two things? >> different protons and different neutrons. >> we set out that the high school would be a laboratory for us where we would learn systemically how early college works and then we would scale that district wide. >> students in high school almost every day to take classes on a college campus. we caught you up with raul morales on a bus headed to south texas college. >> when the teacher expects more for me i try harder. i tried that because my middle school teachers are here you're
good and now my tachers are like you can do better. >> this is a special day for all of us at south texas college. >> king's plan b seems to be working. this year 55 of the 80 seniors from this small school received their two-year college degree a week before they got their high school diplomas. >> congratulations. you are our graduates. [cheers and applause] >> although king has made tremendous progress in two small highly specialized schools, the real question is whether he can make his plan work in a large comprehensive high school like this where being cool as higher priority than earning good grades. >> and john looks at that question in his next report. american graduate is a public media initiative funded by the >> ifill: now, the recently-
concluded supreme court session, and its impact on the law, policy and politics. judy woodruff has that. >> it was a term marked by major decisions on healthcare, immigration, criminal sentencing and other big decisions. we take a look at how it played how the and some historical context. foo that i'm joined by marcia coyle the washington bureau chief at the national law journal and michael beschloss a historian. good to have you both with us. marsha, let me start with you. what is this court term mainly going to be remembered for. clearly healthcare, everybody's talking about that but what else. >> i think i would add to that judy it's also going to be remembered because of healthcare and largely through the efforts of chief justice john roberts where the court extra indicated itself from one of the most politically larged terms in
decades. aside from healthcare, we also had a major politically charged case in the arizona immigration challenge and there is a court in a divided decision found the federal law preempted most of arizona's anti-immigration statute. there were major decisions in the criminal justice area. if you recall we talked about the decision, are between it was a 5-4 decision, though, invalidating mandatory life sentences without parole for juveniles convicted of murder. the court also ruled that a fairly recent federal statute the fair sentencing act which reduced sentences for crack cocaine offenses did apply too a band of offenders who committed their crimes before the act took effect but were sentenced afterwards. a couple first amendment cases
the makes it crime to lie -- not wanting to coffer out of first amendment protection speech tht we find distasteful they struck down that act. >> woodruff: what about that point marcia made, the court wanted to succeed in extricating itself from this perception that it was politically divided. how common is that, how ordinary is that in the history of our supreme court. >> usually it doesn't extricate itself, it usually lends itself to charges like that at crucial moments. because judy look at what happened last week. this had all the makings of being fdr in 1936 when big parts of new deal were overruled by the supreme court. and the american people who are voting that year for or against roosevelt took that as meaning thought that the justices that applied legal theory and said it is fought within the constitution but they took it to
mean the new deal's illegitimate, roosevelt is a bad man, he shouldn't do anything else that extends the reach of a federal government. it was something that was very damage and could have been to president obama had this happened. >> woodruff: marcia by saying extricating itself, you're talking about a conscious decision on the part of one or more justices to do that. >> well i think so, judy. although i think i wouldn't say that the court, that the justices for example the chief justice who formed the majority to uphold the healthcare act and also was part of the majority striking down much of the arizona act, made a political decision. i really believe that he found a way consistent with his own view of the law to uphold the healthcare act and that was through the taxing power of congress. i don't think he would sign an opinion otherwise. but i think what he did was, he and the other justices, and it
did take give on the part of the more liberal wing of the court as well on the medicaid part of the act. but they made, they were able to show that this was more of a bipartisan non-political decision. and that's how they were able to remove the court from really what's going to be a political debate concerning the election. >> woodruff: michael, back on a historical perspective looking at this, to what extent have courts in the past felt or believed to the extent we can know this, that it was damaging to be perceived as having a political ideological -- >> the best example i could think of is 1974usv nixon when they were ruling whether richard nixon should have to give up his tapes for subpoena. it was a 8-0 vote including those nixon had appointed. we thought we should recuse
ourselves and there was some discussion on the court at the time. we now know from diaries and later records that no it's better for us to have this ruling including nixon appointees to show this is not something that was on political lines. >> woodruff: marcia you mentioned a couple other decisions. one question that's come out of the decisions of this term is what have we learned about the relationship of this court to other branches of government. clearly that question rises, awe raises from the healthcare decision but it does about some of these other decisions as well. >> well it does. healthcare in particular, the arizona immigration case. i think, judy, even though the court upheld the individual mandate in the healthcare law, you have to look at the rest of the decision. you had the court putting some limits on congress' power under the commerce clause as well as its powers under the tax and
spending clause. in arizona though you see justice kennedy writing an opinion that is very strong on the role of the national government and an forcing immigration laws. so i think it's hard to say this is a state's rights court or this is always a national government court. it really depends on the issue that comes up. this is a conservative court, though, judy. >> woodruff: how easy has it been, michael to classify courts in the past on the basis of whether they are a state's right. >> usually it's been easy because they tend to be categorized on the basis of the major rulings. the war in court was thought to be this wildly liberal usually big government-oriented court that was doing everything it could to slat from the bench and extend the federal government. if you micro analyze a lot of
decisions issued during those years they don't really meet that template. >> woodruff: marcia in terms of what the court did this term and the last come terms, what do you look for, for the next term. are there clear markers or can we draw no conclusions. >> i wish we could. this term was unusual in a couple respects. there were some non-traditional alignments among the justices. you saw sell justices going over to the left or to the right depending on the particular issue more so than we saw last term. you saw justice kennedy, who is obviously the swing vote. and always in a majority of the 5-4 decisions. in the past he pretty much dominated the majorities on the right. but this term he swung evenly to the left and the right. so what does this mean for going
forward? i would hesitate to say because next term it's a whole different round of issues that the court may face. for example, affirmative action, voting rights, gay marriage. those are issues that some of the justices, including the chief have very strong feelings about. >> woodruff: do we air michael, too often in trying to read these alliances. >> we sure do. >> woodruff: on the part of the justice. >> supporters of barack obama and mitt romney the biggest election in world history and the fate of the court hangs in the balance. the premise there is that romney will, if he gets appointments tush made, will appoint roy botts will do what was considered to be the conservative ruling and the same thing on the obama side.
as long as the court discussed in a slop e way that really doesn't fit reality very well during a campaign people expect this to happen on the court. and as marcia said when you analyze the history, often times it doesn't. >> i think judy too, someone said this term should show most people that you can't really cover or read the court like you do congress. it's a very different branch of government. one other point. this is a young court in the sense chief justice has only been chief for seven terms. when you thank you about a legacy, he's got probably 20 more years. >> woodruff: it's good to be reminded about that. it's not like covering the congress. marcia coyle and michael beschloss, thank you both. >> thank you judy. >> ifill: on our website, you can find a slide show that highlights other major cases decided by the supreme court over the years.
>> the fourth of july has come to be known as picnics, fireworks rest and relaxation. tafs pensive and risky day for the 56 men who attached their names to the document that became america's declaration of independence from british rule. journalists and authors denise and joseph uncover the social, political and financial gamble signers made in the aftermath of their decision to start a new nation in their book. and a coming film. denise and joe join us now. and the author thomas jefferson pretty well-known, vice president, minister to france, secretary of state and eventually president. but the other 55, not so much. >> not so much. >> well who were they. if you were to look across the room, who was sitting in that hot summer room in philadelphia? >> the 55, i mean i would say out of the 56 men, the 5 we know
are franklin, jefferson and hancock. i think these days other people would say i recognize john adams because of the mini series and sam adams because of a beer. that's just the way it is. the other men, i think if you look at them across their professions, some of them were lawyers, some were doctors. kreiger politicians. a large number made their income from agricultural work, whether that was a large plantation in the south or a small farm. >> these were men who enjoyed a role of prominence, that's how they ended up in the continental congress. some of them started out from humble beginnings. not the majority of them but there are those in that group. >> the signing of the document makes official the rupture with
britains, kicks off a war that would last for many years. they pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor. it was a big step, a momentous step to do what they did by just putting their names on the bottom of that piece of paper. >> they knew what they were doing was treasonness and they took steps to protect themselves and their families. one of the big things that they did that most people don't realize or understand is that they, though they signed the declaration beginning in august 2nd, the vast majority august 2nd of 1776, the last guy probably signs five years later because he was busy with the war. their names were not released to the general public until january of 1777. so you have this good chunk of time from august 1776 to january
1777 where the only names people saw on that document were john hancock, who was president of congress at the time and the, his secretary whose name was affixed to the very bottom, very very small. everybody else was a mystery and i think they did that specifically because they knew that there memoranda may be prepricals. with the crossing of the delaware, it was one of the turn of the tide in that war and they felt confident enough to release the names. >> when the actual vote took place to separate from britain, that actually took place on july 2nd. that is the day in congress, july 2nd, not the 4th, when they voted in congress that that's it, we're leaving. the 4th is the day that they approved the text of the declaration. and that is why that big 4 at
the top of the declaration, that's where we get july 4th from. the signing began a month later, but once that declaration was set and they decided, congress decided this is the dear george letter we're sending, this is the letter we're sending that says we're breaking from you, here is why. they had to get word out to the colonies. this is something that happened in a room in philadelphia and they had to basically get word out to the colonies so that everybody knew this was really going forward. >> in the years after july 4th, that first monumental july 4th, the act is voted on, the war has begun. were people arrested, tortured, were there properties destroyed. how many of these guys suffered for being that part of the group
in philadelphia. >> they were captured on the field of battle and they were in prison for a short time. the most sort of dramatic ones are ones like there were three signers from south carolina who were imprisoned first in a sort of a jail prison in charleston and they were shipped to st. augustine florida but they were placed under arrest. were these men were treated well because of their station. they're all gentlemen, according to the british system of class. so they were court, they were placed under house arrest. they were allowed to write letters home. they were visited by medical physicians. no one was ever tortured. that's something every seen over the years and it's wrong. every time i see it, i shudder. >> they were also valuable for exchange. i mean there were prisoner exchange with something that did happen. so these were men of station and
they had certain rank within the military. so it was for an exchange purposes, it was also within the british interest to make sure that they were cared for to a certain level. >> high value prisoner. >> high value prisoners, that's right. >> what no one has actually found is sort of a letter that says we have to go after the guys who signed the declaration of independence. there's no document, there's no proof that they were ever targeted in that way for the signing of the declaration. if they suffered reprizals they were combatn't in the war or pointed out by the neighborses as being on the side of the rebel. >> that guy's in philadelphia, he's in congress they're up to something. >> in the very little time we have left, there are stories, there are legends that things went really badly for almost all of them. is that not true? >> i wouldn't say that's not
true. things went badly for some of them. things like benjamin franklin tripped. >> he tripled his income during the war. >> then you have someone like robert morris mean financier of the evolution because of his willingness to raise money as well as his willingness to get loans on his name because his credit was a lot more powerful than congress' at the time. and he suffered a great reversal bepredominantly because he made bad land investments. and after the war, despite all of his financial success he ended upside down in his loans and spent three and-a-half years in debtor's prison. he was ville visited by george washington who appreciated owl of his other he was. >> dennis and oh i yoik thank
you very much. >> thank you very much. >> ifill: again, the major developments of the day: more than 900,000 americans celebrated the fourth of july in sweltering heat and blackout conditions, as crews worked to restore power from last friday's storms. the death toll from the storms grew to 26 and scientists in switzerland announced the discovery of a new subatomic particle that may be the long- sought after god particle. on our website, we have much more about finding the higgs boson. hari sreenivasan has the details. >> sreenivasan: we've compiled our favorite video explainers, news stories, animations and even jokes to help people understand the importance of the discovery. find that on our science page. and since its july 4th, on our making sense blog, paul solman has some constitutional musings on money from founding father alexander hamilton. all that and more is on our website: newshour.pbs.org. ray? >> suarez: and that's the "newshour" for tonight. on thursday, we'll look at how the supreme court's health care decision affects state medicaid programs.
i'm ray suarez. >> ifill: and i'm gwen ifill. we'll see you online and again here tomorrow evening. thank you and good night. major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> growing up in arctic norway, everybody took fish oil to stay healthy. when i moved to the united states almost 30 years ago, i could not find an omega-3 fish oil that worked for me. i became inspired to bring a new definition of fish oil quality to the world. today, nordic naturals is working to fulfill our mission of bringing omega-3s to everyone, because we believe omega-3s are essential to life.
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